Tiny migration

The dusky grouse wait,

girding their loins for the trip –

Tiny migration.

 

As the seasons change many species migrate across hundreds or even thousands of miles to reach fertile breeding or feeding grounds. In contrast, the North American dusky grouse (a species of blue grouse) may sometimes migrate less than a mile, with females travelling shorter distances than males (Cade & Hoffman, 1993). Often these tiny distances are travelled on foot rather than flying.

The migration is so small that the species is recognised by Guinness World Records as being the shortest bird migration at 300 meters (although individual birds have been recorded as travelling even shorter distances) and has featured on the BBC quiz show QI.

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